Berkeley Haas | Mr. Looking To Learn
GMAT 760, GPA 3.0
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Second Chances
GRE 310, GPA 2.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Social Impact CPA
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Future Gates Foundation
GMAT 720, GPA 7.92
Wharton | Mr. Infrastructure
GMAT 770, GPA 3.05
MIT Sloan | Mr. Data Mastermind
GMAT N/A; will be taking in May, GPA 3.6
USC Marshall | Mr. Utilitarian Mobility
GMAT 740, GPA 2.67
London Business School | Mr. Aussie Analyst
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Sustainable Real Estate
GRE SAT 1950 (90th Percentile), GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Harvard | Ms. Lucky Charm
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.15
Harvard | Ms. URM
GRE 325, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Stay Involved
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Green Business
GMAT 680, GPA 3.33; 3.9 for Masters
NYU Stern | Mr. Military Officer
GRE In Progress, GPA 2.88
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Commercial Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55

You Won’t Believe Who Harvard Business School Rejected This Month

skydiver man


  • 780 GMAT
  • 3.8 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in math from Stanford University
  • Work experiences includes two years at one of the top three global consulting firms, M/B/B, and current managing a strategy team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Extracurricular involvement launching a nonprofit two years ago focused on empowering at-risk you through STEM workshops and classes, with four schools and more than 1,000 students involved
  • Goal: To return to aerospace/defense in a more substantial role

    Would be a sponsored MBA student

  • 25-year-old male, mixed New Zealand Maori & white

Sandy’s Analysis: Not sure what happened to you.

I wonder what your title and role is at the Jet Propulsion Lab? The fact that you are sponsored makes one believe it was solid and not some contract work?

Another important question is what is the record of JPL in sending kids to business schools and HBS. Generally, adcoms like to have some history or track record with acceptances from companies. It gives them some comfort. You’re the first dude from there I ever met, although after looking it up, it seems impressive.

On limited info, the typical ways this leads to a ding is that you propose goals that do not require an MBA and/or you misconstrue what the MBA is. Another possibility here is that the essay is damaging in some radical way (not likely given your post), or your recommendations are damaging (very rare, as opposed to being just so-so which you might have survived).

If no one from JPL typically applies to B-school, that is one important fact, although not in itself a full explanation.

Long story short, I dunno why HBS wouldn’t interview you.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.